• Liz Enright

I Guess I’m Already Home

I’ve started therapy so that no one can tell me I’m wrong. My therapist tells me I get stuck in these loops of distorted thoughts that make my brain feel like it wants to explode. She says for me that everything has to be all or nothing, nothing or anything. I think she’s wrong, because even everything would never be enough for me.

My apartment is 105 years old. There’s dust in every corner and I’m unable to scrub through the layers of grime that have built up over the years. One day maybe I’ll find my baby teeth scattered through the apartment to let me know I made the right decision. How scary is it to grow up when you don’t want to be in this place at all?

The best thing about my apartment are the trains that roll past even though my parents said they’d be bothersome. I’m less than 200 miles away from my parents and my high school and the only other place I really know. I never went on vacations to anywhere far away. Am I an asshole if I tell my friend to shut up about her third trip to Europe? Should I feel ashamed, uncaring? What other words can I use to make it known that I’m jealous?

I’m in therapy so she can tell me that I’m wrong. She can ask why I’ve committed to college on the East Coast if I wanted to go 3,000 miles away from home and I have too many answers. Was it too expensive? Was it too far from my parents? Was it too unfamiliar? Maybe I only grasp at straws, but they’re too thick to fall through my fingers.

Putting my baby teeth on a string is a way to make me feel like I’m back in control. Waking up feels familiar again. Maybe I’ll fall back into the pattern of living vicariously through everyone else on the internet like I do every day. The only thing that will ever resonate is the jealousy, no matter how many times I tell myself this wasn’t my choice. I didn’t commit to this, everything in my world led me here. Why can’t I forgive myself for that?

I love my life, I love my friends. I love everything around me. I love the way I use too many “I” statements no matter what every English teacher I’ve ever had tells me. I love to bask in how perfectly my life has lined up. I committed to the right choice involuntarily. But the consequence of choice is the longing that comes with every other decision.

I could’ve gone to a mediocre school 3,000 miles away. I could’ve hurt my parents and forced them to think about time zones just to call me. But I chose to follow the rules and commit to what was expected of me. Am I just upset that everyone was right?

When I’m 23, I’m going to wish I was back here. I’m going to wish I only had to pay four dollars for laundry instead of six dollars in a shitty LA apartment. My friends will miss me and I will miss them dearly. Maybe I’ll stare out the window and hope they appear on the street. Will that be the right decision? Is there such a thing? The only thing I’ve been able to commit to is my mindset that there’s never a right decision, because what else is a person supposed to do except yearn? What will drive us?

My therapist told me that I ramble too much. It might be time to step back and fall out of love with the idea of the unknown.

She does a lot of stuff from painting to jewelry making to drawing to playing the bass. She's a marketing major but she's also really cool.

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